What a great day out! What’s not to love – bikes. Classic bikes, new bikes, old British bikes, gorgeous looking bikes, a few ‘Um… really … I’m not sure about that….’ bikes; racing bikes and that’s before we’ve even got on to the clothing, accessories; coffee stands and of course the Thunderdrome where there is actual bike racing going on!
This year’s London bike show was held at the Excel in Docklands. For me, this is a bit of a faff to get to by train (I had to catch a train to Euston, then the underground to somewhere or other then the docklands light railway) but you can get to it by car/bike.
Normally there are a few of us that go every year to the show and so afterwards we like to find a pub to get something to eat/drink hence we go by train and this year was no exception.
If you’re like me, you walk into the Excel and you’re like ‘Whoa, bikes, lots of bikes 🙂 🙂 :-)’ and I’m back to being a little kid in a sweet shop with my eyes going everywhere looking at all the lovely things on offer!
In the Thunderdrome there are free races at regular times during the day with, among a few others, Peter Hickman, John McGuiness, Michael Rutter and James Hillier. Always worth a watch, it doesn’t seem to matter where or on what machine one is racing, but when that visor goes down the red mist descends and the competitiveness that lays in all of us, comes out and one must win. The races are all in the nature of good fun of course and you can see they are having fun racing each other.
This year on display as a celebration to Britain’s most famous motorcycle rider, Barry Sheene, were nine of his racing bikes (including two of his winning bikes) which were flown in from Australia. This was an amazing sight to see and really good to be able to see the bikes ‘up close and personal’.
On the Suzuki stand I did spy former triple BSB Champion, John Reynolds with some of his racing bikes. I thought it was really good to be able to chat to John about his bikes and his racing career which is far more interesting than just seeing pictures and written text, makes it more real.
Most of the main manufacturers were there there including, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and BMW along with a few of the smaller ones such as CCM, MV Agusta and Royal Enfield.
It’s good to be able to wonder round the bikes and sit on them (well, most of them). It’s especially good if your looking to buy a new bike as you can get a real feel for the bike and talk to the people on the stand about stats etc and any mods that are available. They also seem to have a selection of branded clothing available to buy – well, it would be rude not too 🙂
I did happen to find myself sitting on the new Ducati V4 Streetfighter. OMG I want one!!! It was in the only colour a Ducati should be in – red! If you look at the stats for this, I think it’s safe to say this is going to be a very fast bike 🙂 🙂 🙂
My only small criticism would be that the first essential change you need to make to the bike would be a tail tidy. To be honest, I would not leave the showroom without one on it!
A friend I was with took a shine to the new Triumph Rocket. This is apparently all new, not a carry over from the previous model and has an incredible 2.5 litre engine. A match for the Diavel perhaps?
Twenty three times Isle of Man TT winner, John McGuiness, could be found in between races propping up the bar at his own pub giving you a chance to have a chat with the man himself over a pint or two.
Inspiration could be found for those of us seeking adventure on a bike in the Adventure Zone with various companies offering information on tours available in various parts of the world as well as books for sale; Bonhams brought with them a selection of rare and exotic bikes from the Giancarlo Morbidelli collection which were fascinating to look at and a real privilege to be able to see and the National Motorcycle Museum brought a host of exotic bikes so we could have the pleasure of looking at them.
Besides bikes, bikes and some more bikes, there were also clothing manufacturers at the show offering for purchase a selection of their goodies. You could fully kit yourself out to ride a bike by coming to the bike show from base layers, protective trousers and jackets to boots, gloves and helmets.
That of course is just the start, you can then go on to kit out your bike with accessories such as luggage systems, sat navs, go pros and then you can kit your garage out too with paddock stands and lifts, tools, cleaning products….. honestly, the list is endless. Just make sure you bring plenty of pennies with you (or your other half’s credit card 🙂 )
All in all a great day out, well worth a visit and I’ll be back again next year.